Tuesday, October 18
Karl Rove's Consigliere
By Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, Oct. 24, 2005 issue

When the president's political guru landed in hot water, he turned to a flamboyant Democrat for help. Will that work?

When Karl Rove emerged after four grueling hours before a federal grand jury in Washington last Friday, his lawyer Robert Luskin made one more attempt to figure out just where his client stood. He approached special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald outside the hearing room and asked if Rove's fortunes had changed in the two-year-old inquiry of who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

But Fitzgerald, ever tight-lipped, wasn't giving anything up. He curtly told the lawyer that "no decisions" had been made, Luskin says.

That left Luskin, the brainy battle-tested Washington litigator hired to represent the most powerful of the president's men, in a bind. All over Washington, impatient reporters were waiting to be fed. So Luskin—whose shaved head, gold earring and Ducati Monster motorcycle make him something of an odd duck among Washington's A-list attorneys—did what any savvy trial lawyer would do: he tried to spin Fitzgerald's nonanswer to Rove's advantage. In a carefully worded statement, Luskin said, "The special prosecutor has not advised Mr. Rove that he is a target of the investigation." The part he glided over: Fitzgerald hadn't ruled out indicting Rove, either.

It was Rove's fourth appearance before the grand jury, and will almost certainly be his last. The investigation expires at the end of the month, and Fitzgerald is widely expected to announce his decisions in the next two weeks.

Republicans fear that Fitzgerald may end up charging a number of senior White House aides, possibly including Rove and Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, with disclosing classified information or making false statements. (Rove and Libby deny any wrongdoing.)

On its Web site on Saturday, The New York Times published a long-awaited story detailing Libby's murky relationship with Judith Miller, the Times reporter who at first refused to disclose her secret source in the case, but named Libby after serving 85 days in jail for contempt of court.

It was the latest twist in a story that has had more than its share of odd turns. At times, Luskin himself has seemed to add to the confusion. In July, Luskin flatly stated that Rove had not been the secret source who talked to Time magazine's Matthew Cooper. Soon after, NEWSWEEK revealed an internal Time e-mail showing that Rove was indeed Cooper's source. Luskin's response: that there was "absolutely no inconsistency" with Rove's testimony.
And on a lighter note than pure trial lawyer , check out the funniest trial transcript ever! If it's not serious enough of a topic, well, just pretend it's the Brit's version of trial lawyer !
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